Interview with Harry McPherson

In terms of the, um, his programs did you ever see any congressional backlash in terms of congress coming to you and saying, "Those people are burning your neighborhood. They're so ungrateful, we're not going to give them any more money." Did any of that kind of sentiment come through your office?


At the time the riots were going on, most of what I heard, despite the White backlash that occurred and was occurring in those days, most of what you heard from Congress and from the Executive Branch, in those days, we're talking now about days of the Great Society, of many social programs being addressed to social problems. Most of what you heard was a frustrated, ah, questioning, a, a desire to come up with the kind of programs that would bring about the right kind of change and would give hope to people who otherwise were rioting. People were really looking for ways to spend money successfully, despite the fact that we were in a budget crunch. We were looking for, for ways to use the government to heal wounds in the cities, not at that time, trying to put more money into police to, to quell the riots but to try to help people.